Dirty Filthy Sex Forever

By | March 4, 2010

Vintage PornThere’s nothing new under the sun. And human urges are always going to be pretty much the same, it’s part of the reason that our species has thrived and dominates the planet. People have always fucked, that’s why the species still exists.

But what I’m talking about here is the photographic representation of sex. I was looking at some vintage porn and realised that in its own way, and for probably totally different reasons the pornographic images produced by photographers in the 19th century are just as false as some of the over-processed and obviously photoshopped garbage that some photographers and magazines produce today.

The Victorian images are very posed, partly because of the exposure time limitations and partly because of the size of the photographic equipment a consequent weight and immobility. It’s the same with some if not all of the modern porn that appears on the net. There are certain poses, looks and facial expressions that are used over and over.

In the Victorian images the models seem to be vaguely disinterested in the sexual acts, even if they have a cock in their mouths or have their fingers inside some woman’s vagina. Today although you can see that the models are trying to look involved it’s almost always unconvincing and requires the viewer to pretend that that they believe in what’s being portrayed.

Then there’s the image quality. Older emulsions are slow, but because of this if they are processed properly have a very small grain size producing detailed images. This can lead to very smooth skin tones. However a lot of the images you see from Victorian porn are hugely manipulated with every curve carefully re-drawn and skin tones flat and featureless.

The same happens today. Playboy is a particular culprit for over processing, but there’s also Suze Randall who despite her high production values and often opulent and appealing scenes tends to make all her images look very similar and a bit too perfect.

Creating an erotic image requires the photographer and the subjects to be aware of what turns people on. In my case it’s not seeing perfect and bronzed naked bodies pouting and looking longingly down the lens.

Yes I can get turned on by cheap and nasty porn, but that’s what it is, cheap and nasty and a quick thrill to help me to orgasm. Weirdly the golden-bronzed, high production value stuff leaves me cold, the perfection is too much, the attention to the wrong details leaves me feeling that the erotic element has been forgotten.

Truly arousing erotic images are very hard to come by, or is it just that I have very high standards?